Barbados Selling Offshore Oil Drilling Rights – But Has No Pollution Laws Or Transparency Rules

From EarthTimes.Org…

Barbados Seeks Western Firms For Drilling

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jan. 24 Barbados has said it will begin offering offshore blocks to international companies to look for oil.

Energy and Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson told the House of Assembly Tuesday a British company was preparing the blocks that may be offered for public tender by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Exploratory offshore wells drilled by Conoco five years ago were promising, she said.

We have had a number of visits and inquiries from oil moguls, big, small and aspiring and we have been able to get a feel for the level of keenest which exists on the part of these countries to pump into Barbados and get into our oil industry because the seismic data yielded by Conoco looks so promising, she said. The comments were reported by the Caribbean Media Corp…

… read the entire article at Earth Times.Org (link here)

Oil Is Big Money, Big Environmental Risks

We will point out again for about the millionth time…

1/ Barbados has no environmental laws that set any sort of standard for this project or any other potentially polluting activities by a corporation.

2/ Barbados has not been able to force Shell Oil to clean up or pay for the pipeline spills that happened in 1994. (link here) What makes the Government of Barbados so sure that they are competent to supervise offshore oil drilling now?

3/ The Government of Barbados has deliberately failed to introduce any laws requiring transparency in the tendering process or otherwise enabling citizens to hold public officials accountable. As a matter of fact, there are no laws in Barbados that prevent a public official from profiting through selling influence or government contracts.

AND THE BIG QUESTION…

How much will the oil companies pay government officials in secret bribes “facilitation payments” or “consulting fees” that are neither illegal nor discoverable in the absence of transparency and conflict of interest laws?

Where is the Opposition Party on this? Hello? I can’t hear you!

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8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

8 responses to “Barbados Selling Offshore Oil Drilling Rights – But Has No Pollution Laws Or Transparency Rules

  1. HiStory

    Didn’t one (U.S.?) Oil Company hand back in their exploration permit, just about 2 yrs,. ago?
    – becoz they considered the prospects simply weren’t that great?

    Any petroleum deposits in/on the Barbados Ridge will be found either N. or S. of the island,
    many miles out(where pollution will be “someone else’s” problem).
    In waters that deep, jackup’s are out of the question.
    In waters that rough, semi-submersibles are a maybe… they’ll probably pick their time of year v.carefully, and do it that way.
    Drillships, that most expensive of all drilling technologies, will most likely not come into the picture, not unless something BIG is suspected/found.

    Producing crude out there is not going to be cute, due to adverse sea conditions.
    All in all, I don’t see it as a particularly bright prospect, due to ‘marine difficulties’.

    I don’t recommend holding your breath on this one.
    We have been getting these offshore oil ‘messages’ for decades now, and it is yet to come to pass.

  2. Observer

    The story behind the news that everyone should know.

    Just why might oil moguls big, small and aspiring (maybe that should read big, small and “perspiring”) be so anxious to spend millions of dollars to explore in far offshore Barbados waters
    for new oil fields? Most likely because they know that indications continue to accumulate that the old formerly reliable, mega oil fields that supplied a very high proportion of the worlds supply are approaching peak production (or have peaked in the case of the North Sea fields) and once an oil field peaks and goes into decline it’s pretty well a permanent and continous decline.

    Worldwide, we’re now burning up anywhere up to 4 barrels of oil (pumped from previously discovered reserves) for every new barrel we find.

    Metaphorically speaking, we’ve picked the low hanging fruit, gorged ourselves on it, and now to keep satisfying our desires, we have to go further afield, and spend more money to exploit smaller, more inacessible, and more expensive to pick fruit.

    Often our newly found “fruit” is not the sweet, tasty fruit of the old days either. In other words, the oil is not the light, sweet crude easy to make into gasoline, but the heavy, sour (ie. sulfur laden) oil which is difficult, and therefore expensive, to refine into the various petroleum products.

    The real tragedy is that once world production as a whole has peaked, which some oil industry and energy experts and analysts (e.g. see The Association for the Study of Peak Oil at http://www.peakoil.net) believe will happen within 5 to 15 years) no amount of extraordinary exploration efforts, drilling or attempts to bring on line alternative sources (eg Canadian tar sands derived oil) will be able to halt the decline in worldwide oil production year by year. In addition, given the current state of scientific knowledge, there is little chance alternatives such as ethanol, hydrogen, photo voltaics etc. will be developed enough or even have the potential to be developed enough to make up for the worldwide energy shortages that will hit the world’s economies post peak.

    Whey do you think Bush and Cheney (both oil men with close links to the US oil business) were so hot to trot to find a reason, bogus or otherwise, to invade Iraq (one of the last countries left with large reserves easy to access, easy to refine, high quality crude oil). The world’s economies have evolved over the last hundred years to run on relatively cheap and plentiful energy derived from highly energy dense petroleum. Once oil supplies go into decline worldwide, the countries that control access to the remaining stocks of petroleum will have a distinct advantage as far as forcing other countries to fall into line with foreign policy, trade decisions etc. over the countries with no oil or no control over oil reserves.

    See: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0423-01.htm

    For more information on “peak oil” see the information posted at web sites like http://www.theoildrum.com , http://www.energybulletin.net and http://www.peakoil.net .

    Here’s a brief introduction on the topic:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

    Also, check out the lecture (geared to the layman) by retired University of Colorado Physics Prof. Albert Bartlett on exponential growth and the affect of population growth on resource consumption posted at:

    http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/461

    You can watch a Canadian produced documentary (52 min)on Peak Oil called “End of Suburbia” here:

    For a really disturbing read, check out the article “Eating Fossil Fuels” by Dale Allen Pfeiffer which explains and documents how the industrialized agriculture that feeds much of the Western world’s population has been heavily dependent on cheap and plentiful oil to fuel the “green revolution”, and without the ability to continue to add increasing inputs of oil based energy into agriculture we’ll face massive problems in growing our crops and feeding ourselves. See it here:

    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100303_eating_oil.html

  3. Jerome Hinds

    If what Observer, says, is 80% true than Mia’s big lie after the ruling by the maritime international court….is beginning to look clearer……!!!

    Mia claimed to ALL Barbadians we WON…..!!!

    Truth be told, Bajan Fishermen…are the

    LOSERS…their boats still GROUNDED….cannot

    enter T&T waters…!!!

    Truth be told, the oil exploration plans at a

    LOST….would NOT likely get off the GROUND

    once Liz remains in

    CHARGE…..remember….GREENLAND…!!!!

    BUT……..????

    Mia said they were WINNERS in this thing…..???

    Ah, I nearly forgot the LEGAL team on this deal…

    $ 11 million dollars in their……HANDS….free

    money…… TAXPAYERS hard earned money….that

    is how yuh WIN money…..DOAN wait pun de

    lottery….Bajans…..!!!

    Well, having her friends on the legal team

    also……Mia is a WINNER…..TOOOOO……!!!!!

  4. Pingback: The Temas Blog » A Sustainable Energy Plan for Barbados?

  5. J. Sando

    And what if they find clean burning natural gas that can bring a ton-load of jobs to Bajans for the next 50-100 years? Who vex then?

    Rules should be in place, but not based on knee-jerk reaction, speculation or purely on the political flavour of the day. Plan ahead tentatively, but wait for some facts to guide final decisions.

  6. J. Payne

    Not to mention…. Big hummming/vibrating oil rig machines out in the Caribbean seas drilling for oil.

    That may be another top class way to scare off more of the migrating Flying Fish.

  7. Pingback: Barbados Oil Delegation Flogging Their Map In Britain - What? No Takers In Texas? « Barbados Free Press

  8. GOP

    It is expected that Barbados will hit a windfall in petroleum product says prophet J.E. Knotts.

    http://trivester.com/christian-news/world/americas/caribbean/barbados/prophetknotts/nov2009/